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Celtics reportedly among teams interested in free agent Nic Batum

BOSTON  -- Nic Batum is declining his player option with the Clippers and heading for free agency. It's expected that he'll return to Los Angeles, but several suitors are lining up for the veteran swingman.

That includes the Boston Celtics, who are looking to make some improvements around the edges after the team came up a few wins short of an NBA title. Batum, a 6-foot-8 wing with lots of NBA experience who can knock down shots from downtown, would be a great upgrade for the Boston bench.

But again, there is going to be a lot of competition for the 3-and-D specialist on the open market. In addition to the Clippers and the Celtics, the Los Angeles Lakers, Chicago Bulls, Phoenix Suns, and Utah Jazz are anticipated to have "strong interest" in the 33-year-old, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.

Batum is a 14-year NBA vet who spent the last two seasons with the Clippers. He started 54 games for Los Angeles last season and averaged 8.3 points off 46 percent shooting overall and 40 percent shooting from three-point range. He is a career 43.7 percent shooter in the regular season and a 44 percent shooter over 58 career playoff games with the Portland Trail Blazers, Charlotte Hornets and Clippers. 

Batum declined a $3.3 million option for 2022-23, and will probably want a bump in pay wherever he signs. NBA free agency tips off on June 30.

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